Argues that Samuel Beckett demands a different quality of empathy from his audiences - not through the artifice of a character's simulated pain but through the actuality of the performer's physical suffering. Analyzes the demands and constraints upon actors that Beckett imposes in his better-known plays and re-evaluates the more "occasional" piece "Catastrophe" - written in 1982 ostensibly as an homage to the then-imprisoned Czech playwright Vaclav Havel - less as a critique of political terror than as an ironic and devastating self-critique of the terror of Beckett's own tragic representation.
Western assumptions of unthinking Serbian support for the policies of Slobodan Milosevic were upset by the success of popular protest in securing his removal in the autumn of 2000. In fact, just three years after his accession to power in 1989, there had already been massive student protests against the Balkan War, and these were repeated and surpassed in the winter of 1996-97, when Milosevic tried to disregard the success of the opposition in the local elections of that November. The student protests quickly took a theatricalized form, and their recurrent modes-graffiti, banners, street processions- were successfully carnivalized, to become popular performative events. This feature provided a chronology of the main developments to complement the more analytical study by Milena Dragicevic-Sesic of the nature of this organic but ironic response to an authoritarian regime, which gave old traditions a late twentieth-century voice.
Argues that the creation of the devolved Scottish parliament in 1999 has the potential to change everything that has been understood and imagined or thought and speculated about Scotland. Questions what impact political devolution might have on the rhetoric of Scottish cultural criticism by paralleling feminist analysis of three plays by women (Zinnie Harris' "Further Than the Furthest Thing," Sue Glover's "Shetland Saga," and Nicola McCartney's "Home") that premiered in Scotland in 2000 with the flexible, even hybrid, model of the nation afforded by devolution, resetting identity within Scottish culture as much less predictable and much more inclusive than has previously been understood.
With the spread of digital and other modes of electronic recordings into the auditoria and lecture theatres where performance-already well rehearsed and in the pages of NTQ-is about to intensify. Rachel Fensham and Denise Varney have based the article which follows on their own work in videoing live theatre pieces for research into feminist performance. This article deliberates on their experience with the medium and examines the anxieties that surface at the point of implosion between live and mediatized performance. The first part locates these anxieties in the question of presence and absence in performance-especially that of the performer, whose body and self are both at stake in the recorded image. In the second part, the authors offer a description of viewing practices, which the present as a model of 'videocy.'
Responds to John F. Deeney's article, "Censoring the Uncensored: The Case of 'Children in Uniform,'" which appeared in the August 2000 edition of "NTQ." Enters the growing debate over the reclamation of historical depictions of homosexuality. Questions Deeney's contention that contemporary critical prejudices obscure the circulation of dramatic images of lesbianism during the 1930s, proposing that the Lord Chamberlain's difficulties in identifying lesbianism demonstrate the impossibility of dispensing with the theoretical structure that informs an understanding of this identity. Addresses the challenges faced when addressing dramatic inscriptions of lesbian desire, which are often homophobic, prurient, and unquestioning in their affirmation of the heterosexual norm.
In this response to John F. Deeney's article, 'Censoring the uncensored: the case of Children in Uniform', which appeared in NTQ 63 (August 2000), Helen Freshwater enters the growing debate over our reclamation of historical depictions of homosexuality. She questions Deeney's contention that our contemporary critical prejudices obscure the circulation of dramatic images of lesbianism during the 1930s, proposing that the Lord Chamberlain's difficulties in identifying lesbianism demonstrate the impossibility of dispensing with the theoretical structure that informs our understanding of this identity. Her archival research also reveals that there were in fact many efforts to put the lesbian on the stage during this period, but that these were effectively suppressed by the Lord Chamberlain, who refused to contemplate the performative enactment of lesbianism, no matter how indistinct or conventionalized in form. Her article addresses the challenges faced when addressing these dramatic inscriptions of lesbian desire, which are often homophobic, prurient, and unquestioning in their affirmation of the heterosexual norm.
Theatre de Complicite was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, and Marcello Magni, and has since established its reputation as one of Britain's leading experimental physical theatre companies. Here, Helen Freshwater discusses the construction, performance, and implications of one of their recent works, Mnemonic, which premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 1999, and has since toured to London's National Theatre and the John Jay College Theatre in New York. The work questions our metaphorical conceptualization of memory, displacing the conventional model of retrieval with an understanding of memory based upon a performative paradigm. This is memory as an act of imagination; transient; grounded upon narrative; open to interpretation; intrinsically corporeal. Freshwater interrogates the impact of the performance's incompletion, addressing the ethical issues raised by recognizing the indeterminacy of the past. Under Simon McBurney's direction, the original cast comprised Catherine Schaub Abkarian, Katrin Cartlidge, Richard Katz, Simon McBurney, Time McMullan, Kostas Pilippoglou, and Daniel Wahl.
Reports on an experiment with Greek masks undertaken by Michael Chase, a specialist in maskmaking and masked performance, and also director of the Mask Studio in Stroud (England). Notes that while Chase's interest lies in creating a living genre for the present, the authors' own interest in the project is more closely related to developing an understanding of ancient tragedy. Suggests that the authors see a historical understanding of the form and techniques of ancient theater as the basis for bringing the texts to life in modern performance.
The emergence of new performance paradigms in the second half of the twentieth century is only now being recognized as a fresh phase in human history. The creation of the new discipline, or, as some would call it, the anti-discipline of performance studies in universities is just a small chapter in a ubiquitous story. Everywhere performance is becoming a key quality of endeavour, whether in science and technology, commerce and industry, government and civics, or humanities and the arts. We are experiencing the creation of what Baz Kershaw here calls the 'performative society'a society in which the human is crucially constituted through performance. But in such a society, what happens to the traditional notions and practices of drama and theatre? In this inaugural lecture, Kershaw looks for signs and portents of the future of drama and theatre in the performative society, finds mostly dissolution and deep panic, and tentatively suggest the need for a radical turn that will embrace the promiscuity of performance.
The creation of the devolved Scottish parliament in 1999, argues Adrienne Scullion, has the potential to change everything that has been understood and imagined or thought and speculated about Scotland. The devolved parliament shifts the governance of the country, resets financial provisions and socio-economic management, recreates Scottish politics and Scottish societyand affects how Scotland is represented and imagined by an unprecedented opportunity to rethink its more rigid paradigms and structures. Specifically, this article questions what impact political devolution might have on the rhetoric of Scottish cultural criticism by paralleling feminist analysis of three plays by women premiered in Scotland in 2000 with the flexible, even hybrid, model of the nation and much more inclusive than has previously been understood.
A few of the plays written in support of the movement for women's suffrage in Britain before the First World War have recently been recovered and published, but most of these were intended for some kind of professional or at least conventional production. Susan Carlson is here concerned to look also at some of the pieces which saw print only in the ephemeral suffrage press, and production (if at all) only as part of meetings or demonstrations. Breaking down traditional distinctions between social, political, and theatrical spaces,she argues that all were part both of the dramatization of the struggle, and also of broader reclamation of public spaces for women, whether of a public venue such as the Albert Hall, outdoor spaces such as Hyde Park and Trafalgar Squareor the humbler and lonelier space of the street corners on which women sold the suffrage newspapers that contained the playssome of them about women on street corners selling suffrage newspapers.
Looks at some of the theatrical pieces that were only printed in the ephemeral suffrage press, and production (if at all) only as part of meetings or demonstrations. Notes that the author breaks down traditional distinctions between social, political, and theatrical spaces and argues that all were part both of the dramatization of the struggle, and also of a broader reclamation of public spaces for women in London, whether of a public venue such as the Albert Hall, outdoors paces such as Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square - or the humbler and lonelier space of the street corners on which women sold the suffrage newspapers that contained the plays - some of them about women on street corners selling suffrage newspapers.
The theatre shelves of secondhand bookshops testify to the sometime popularity and prolific output of the theatre publicist and would-be historian Walter Macqueen-Pope. Yet even by the itme Macqueen-Pope was publishing his later volumes in the 1950s, the rise of academic theatre scholarship was questioning such anecdotally based and unverified accounts of the theatre adn tis past. Today, we can look at Macqueen-Pope, and at the period immediately before the First World War which was so often the focus of his attention, not so much for evidence of flawed scholarship as for his revealing attitude towards his subject and its social context. For anecdotage and nostalgia have inevitably to be taken into account in any historical approach to so ephemeral an art as the theatre, and, as the authors here conclude, while Macqueen-Pope may not tell us the whole truth about his many subjects, such a 'wistful remembrancer' remains significant to any investigation fo a theatrical past 'that must always be a melting pot of imperfect recognitions and unattainable desires'.
In his seminal The Theatre of the Absurd, Martin Esslin suggested that Samuel Beckett, in denying his characters individualized facets of humanity, achieved an 'alienation effect' that was more profound and assured than Brecht's. Here, Michael David Fox, while agreeing that Beckett denies actors adn audiences the kinds of identification achieved in naturalistic drama through Stanislaviskian techniques, argues that he demands a different quality of empathy from his audiencesnot through the artifice of a character's simulated pain but through the actuality of the performer's physical suffering. While analyzing the demands and constraints upon actors which Beckett imposes in his better-known plays, he also re-evaluates the more 'occasional' piece Catastrophewritten in 1962 ostensibly as a homage to the then-imprisoned Czech playwright Vaclav Havelless as a critique of political terror than as an ironic and devastating self-critique of the terror of Beckett's own tragic representation.
The pressures of Thatcherism on theater funding in the 1980s were severe, but the early harshness was tempered by several factors. One was the positive influence of the Cork Report, particularly on touring and experimental theater. Another was a careful strategy of reallocation of funding in order to support creativity in British theater, notably through the touring franchise scheme. The authors analyze, in depth, the ways in which the English Arts Council operated that scheme in an attempt to revitalize the British theater industry after 1986. They trace the change in the values of political theater in the following years of the decade and examine other theatrical ideas that appeared during that time.
States that many partisans of Alfred Jarry's work have discovered "Ubu roi" and the "science" of pataphysics via a study of the Parisian avant-garde, and the play has been discussed for a hundred years in this context. Assesses Jarry in the context of the world of rural puppetry. Brings the rural puppet into focus in a discussion of the Ubu cycle and exposes Père Ubu's identity as a class hybrid, whose maddening and elusive nature stems from the fusion of popular and elite forms. Reveals that Jarry's use of puppet forms is radically different from that of the Symbolists, who conceived puppets as theoretical figures within a fully formed aesthetic doctrine.
Many partisans of Alfred Jarry's work have discovered Ubu roi and the 'science' of pataphysics via a study of the Parisian avant-garde, and the play has been discussed for a hundred years in this context. Kimberly Jannarone also assesses Jarry in the context of the world of rural puppetryfor, like many other avant-garde artists at the fin de siecle, as the makeshift puppet shows he saw as a child. Bringing the rural puppet into focus in a discussion of the Ubu cycle, Kimberly Jannarone exposes Pere Ubu's identity as a class hybrid, whose maddening and elusive nature stems from the fusion of popular and elite forms. Further, she reveals that Jarry's use of puppet forms is radically different from that of the symbolists, who conceived puppets as theoretical figures within a fully formed aesthetic doctrine. By contrast, Jarry used puppets for their very incompletenesstheir makeshift nature making them ideal catalysts for the audience's imaginations. She sees Pataphysics as a model of the avant-garde itself: a system that focuses less on products than on effects.
States that ways in which people receive and perceive what they taste, hear, touch, and smell all serve as potential resources for an understanding of an artistically mediated event. Notes that though some modes of perception are more usually associated with the visual than the performing arts, the development of forms of Live Art has begun to challenge the understanding of how the conventions of theatricalizing experience can be modulated. Uses methodologies drawn from a phenomenological perspective to examine the way in which Robert Wilson's installation, "H.G.," presented at the Clink, near London Bridge, in 1995, triggered a journey in sensory perception for its spectators, and served as an exemplar of the ways in which the full range of sensory resources can be 'theatrically' deployed.